Posts Tagged ‘gaming research’

Video Gaming Economies

by , Apr 21, 2014 | 2:31 am

There’s a fair amount of research going on these days looking at that ever-fine line between gaming and gambling (Gainsbury, Russell, & Hing, 2014). This mini-documentary looks at the size and complexity of virtual gaming economies, and reveals how popular recreational online activities are vulnerable to cheaters and Chinese gold farmers (prisoners made to play video games for prison-guard profits) … which has some wanting regulatory oversight similar to gambling!

Who woulda guessed that online poker could provide a template for gamified digital consumer protections? (Really, it kinda-sorta is …)


“Gaming” vs. “Gambling” Revisited

New study says online difference is more than just six points in Words with Friends

by , Oct 16, 2013 | 4:12 pm

Do we call it gaming or gambling? I think we all know the casino industry would prefer we call it “gaming”, but for poker players that’s sometimes kinda hard when you see your heroes on the TV holding second pair and a gutshot only to be shouting “gamble gamble!” after an all-in and a call.

While some suggest gaming and gambling have already virtually converged, and others contend that no matter, the customers are different, there has been little definitive work to confirm what the Nevada Gaming Commission (and Gaming Control Board) have known all along: People are more comfortable betting real money when the activity in question is referred to as gaming, not gambling.

At least that’s the case when it comes to online wagers, according to new research set to be published in the December issue of Journal of Consumer Research. Full title: “Framing the Game: Assessing the Impact of Cultural Representations on Consumer Perceptions of Legitimacy.” (LOL academic phrasiologies.)

While this study looks at myriad forms of casino gambl, er, gaming, it takes special note of online poker. By doing a content analysis of newspaper coverage post-Black Friday, researchers found that indeed, media suddenly stopped presenting poker as an online entertainment option akin to video games and instead were presenting it using words associated with criminal pursuits.

Read below for more details about what they found, and feel free to question the credibility of any social scientist who doesn’t reference the phrase, “one time!” when talking about the relationship between cards and money.

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History of Nevada Poker Revenues

[Graph] UNLV research reveals timeline for boom and recession of game

by , Mar 27, 2013 | 4:26 pm

UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research put out some data collected from NGCB’s Gaming Revenue Reports that paints a rather interesting picture of the poker world over the past 20 years. The chart you can see here — showing the number of poker rooms, the number of tables, and total rake — pretty much tells the story of poker … and I couldn’t help but want to graph it!

History of NV poker revs

What I’m not sure of is whether or not these numbers include tournament entry fees or represent only cash game collections. But either way, even with the WSOP finding creative ways to report definitive growth year over year, I’m fairly certain the shape of both graphs would look pretty much the same.


New Podcast Recommendations

The sounds of botching a Bellagio robbery, Jersey casinos un-resurrected, scholarly gaming pursuits @UNLV + hardcore legalese w Disco Stu

by , May 24, 2012 | 4:11 pm

So many new podcasts. At least the voices in our heads are staying fresh … and there really is more news and analysis related to poker and gaming and casinos and gambling than you can read all over the internet.

Some shows I recently found and/or enjoyed … you may want to give a listen, and perhaps bookmark for recurring download:

Poker Fraud Alert Forum Radio — I try to steer clear of industry love triangles, but sometimes can’t avoid the latest Donkdown breakup story. New and clique-worthy from Druff and Drexel: the pilot episode of their version of the old show, complete with real newschat about a botched pepper-spray robbery for Bellagio cranberries (as per plans hatched on Craigslist), the felony arrest of alleged exposed Vegas scammer Peter Falcone, and informed tangential discussion of female biology on, off, and under the table. http://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/radio.php

Vegas Gang Podcast — Pub-style virtual roundtable, featuring gaming industry wonks talking about non-poker casino numbers and constructions stories with a little history and on-air smoking. http://www.vegasgangpodcast.com/2012/05/vegas-gang-78-may-17th-2012/

CEM Audio Edge — Twitter’s @GamingCounsel (and Pokerati’s own non-binding legal correspondent) Stu Hoegner takes the mic at Casino Enterprise Management for a guest hosting gig and Jersey-style cage match with DC lobbyist and iMega chieftain Joe Brennan, Jr. http://www.cemaudioedge.com/episode/gaming-law-news-guest-host-stu-hoegner

UNLV Gaming Podcast — Dr. David Schwartz’s advanced study of degen living, aka UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, provides statistical data set to audio, and sometimes featuring research fellows presenting their findings on matters like, on the episide I heard, the sociology of gambling expansion. http://gaming.unlv.edu/podcast.html


Online Gambling Focus Group

Raymer, Pappas, Schwartz (from UNLV's Center for Gambling Research) and Pokerati

by , May 17, 2011 | 1:06 am

The World Series of Panel-discussions continues with what I like to think of as a circuit event on Wednesday. The Focus group has invited me and three others for a moderated roundtable that you could call Meet the Poker if David Gregory’s show were relegated to ESPN3.

But it should make for vigorous discourse providing valuable information … kinda like a think-tank for couch-based researchers and analysts. Details on the academic equivalent to a call-in show:

Toll-free Dial-In Number: (866) 951-1151
International Dial-In Number: (201) 590-2255
United Kingdom +44 08003581576
Conference # : 4999006

Join us for this roundtable teleconference on Wednesday May 18, 2011 at 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET to learn more about the economics of the multi-billion online gambling market and recent US government gaming legislation.

Topics include:

1. The history of today’s online gaming market
2. How Las Vegas feels about online gaming
3. “Black Friday” and its meaning for the online gaming business
4. What the online gaming business will look like in 2012

Moderator:

Michael Damphousse, CEO/CMO, Green Leads

Panelists:

David G. Schwartz, Director of Center for Gambling Research-UNLV
Dan Michalski, Founder/Editor, Pokerati.com
John Pappas, Executive Director, PPA (Poker Players Alliance)
Greg Raymer, 2004 WSOP Champion and Lawyer


Poker Bots: Come With Me if You Want to Live

by , Feb 20, 2011 | 7:32 am

tim chilcote poker bots

Tim Chilcote


OP-ED

Machines have always been the enemy of man, at least in movies and on television, yet somehow we never see our A.I. overlords coming until it’s too late.

Case in point, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Doctor Miles Bennett Dyson spends a lifetime developing artificial intelligence as part of the Skynet project, only to discover that his work is more suitable for evil than for good – the price? His life. You remember the scene: Dyson detonates his own lab, and in doing so blows himself up, sacrificing himself to save us from an army of Schwarzeneggers.

With the computer Watson now a winning contestant on Jeopardy!, the man v. machine debate has been rekindled, and it would seem that we’re in danger again, if not for our lives (yet), then for pride. In a recent Slate article, “Jeopardy, Schmeopardy: Why IBM’s next target should be a machine that plays poker“, author Chris Wilson asks whether the next logical progression from Jeopardy!’s Watson is a poker playing robot, and suggests that robots have a lot to teach us about poker, and might even be — gasp! — better.

Bots sound dangerous, and it would be easy to infer that their skill is only going to grow and that their dominance of the poker world is a forgone conclusion.

Poker bots have been hot topic in online poker for years. The fervor usually stems from a fear of the unknown. Gambling robots reached a fever pitch in 2007 when Phil Laak and Ali Eslami played against the Polaris poker bot. At the time I asked myself the obvious question – is Polaris the next terminator, and if not, then what’s the point of this experiment and why should I care? I sat down that summer with computer-poker researcher Darse Billings of the University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group to have him explain how Polaris actually worked and to see what he thought was the point of his poker robot experiment, just to put my mind at ease.

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